Friday, January 1, 2010

The Compleat Genealogy Database: Religious Affiliations

In a new series, Judy Rosella Edwards encourages researchers to examine the data in their database with the aim of filling in the blanks and creating a truly complete record. The first article, "The Compleat Genealogy Database: Religion Affiliation," explains the objectives and discusses the benefits of exploring religious affiliations. One point made in this first article, relative to fine-tuning your data is to "be precise about place of death." If a person lived in one place but died in another, that is an important distinction to make, lest the place of death send someone off in a wrong direction looking for records. The devil is in the detail.

As a side note, those wondering at the use of the word "compleat" may interested in reading the article, "Compleat vs. Complete." At one time thought to be an archaic spelling of the word "complete," the word has seen a revival in modern times to indicate the quintessential, "the perfect example of class or quality."

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Traditions across cultures

An article in the Detroit News, "Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa: A time for joy, traditions and reflection," highlights traditions across cultures, reminding us that even though our faiths and practices may differ, this "season of celebration" is about love and family and shared tradition. It's is good to recognize, appreciate, and share with our children the traditions from other cultures,  bringing us closer together as a people and making the holiday season even more meaningful.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lexicons of Lost Lifestyles: Get Me To the Church on Time

In her latest article, "Lexicons of Lost Lifestyles: Get Me To the Church on Time," Jean Hibbens examines the language of religion and the everyday phrases we take for granted. One I think might be of particular interest to genealogists is the significance behind one's illiterate ancestors signing legal documents with an "X". Why and X and not Y or Z? According the author, the signers "mark" is a representation of the Cross and "the belief that the "X" is sacred: the one who signs in that manner does so in honesty; it is considered a 'sign' that the document to which he affixes his name is true and binding." Regardless of religious affiliation, we can respect the meaning of symbol in our lives.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Religion in New Orleans

In her article, "Religion in New Orleans," Judy Rosella Edwards presents an overview of the religions and cultural mix of those arriving in New Orleans and of the many who stayed. Of course, "religion and segregation went hand in hand," in those early days. Jews were at one time banned from Louisiana, yet a strong Jewish presence continued and flourished. Catholic missionaries made significant contributions to the community, including an order of Catholic nuns that provided care and shelter to all. Many churches had their own cemeteries, a great resource for researchers.

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